The Function of Theory in Composition Studies
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Offers an extended critique of key assumptions in composition theory and a new paradigm for thinking about writing in an increasingly globalized and textualized world.
How can theory improve our knowledge of writing? Raúl Sánchez answers this question by examining dominant theoretical trends in composition studies over the last fifteen years, citing their common origins in a narrow, representational metatheory of writing. He argues that this adherence actually leads the field away from its objects of study: writing and the writing subject. Through this extended critique, he elaborates an alternative metatheory, one that restores writing to the conceptual center of composition studies by emphasizing its generative—rather than its representational—characteristics, particularly in increasingly networked and textualized cultures.
Raúl Sánchez is Associate Professor of English at the University of Florida.